Thursday, February 2, 2012


Alicia, your photography is incredible. I have yet to figure out how you do it and I have tried. Specifically, I can not understand how the room and the view beyond the room are equally crisp and beautiful. It's as if they are both one amazing space.

Do you think I've provided enough adjectives there? Anyway, that's what I'd say if I were brave enough to comment at Alicia's.

Recently, Alicia provided a link to a house tour of her home on Houzz. It's a fun way to spend a little time, if you have a few minutes today or over the weekend. Always those crisp, delightful photos. (You'll have to visit Posie Gets Cozy to find the link as I just sent you to the main page.)

Usually when I am trying to photograph a room, I get blur. I really get blur when the view beyond the windows is captured. Either the blur is outdoors or indoors, either way...blur...blur and mud.

Case in point...

I was trying to capture the great graphics on the Hans Brinker book as well as the barn star on the fence outside. The barn star is out of focus and a bit blurry, though it shows up better than the book. I think that the camera really focused on the throw because that seems to have been picked up well.

Since I didn't achieve what I wanted with the camera alone, I went to Photoscape.

Once there, I added backlighting and bloom. At least I can see Hans now. ☺

So this is a question for my friends who take photographs all the know who you are...everybody? Give me your hints and tips. I'll be forever grateful.

Edited to Add: Karen is entering a new venture that completely intrigues me. You can find out more on her post today titled The Accidental Photographer.


Yesterday, my hubby made a comment about February's picture on one of my new calendars. You may recognize it. Apparently, neither of us is too fond of the picture of snake lovers. 

So I "fixed" it. 

It is a wonderful thing when the calendar presents just one clinker. I've had others where every other month was a nightmare. 

So that's all the Valentine's decorating I've done. I must find a few more and get going. Time's already flying.


Guess what?! I believe that I have discovered the recipe for sweet brown bread. I'm sharing tomorrow. Bring your own plate and coffee...


Oh, and Happy Ground Hog's Day, too!


  1. Good morning Vee! Why would the calendar artist do such a picture for Valentine's day??? I'd cover it up too. You did so very prettily. I look forward to your recipe tomorrow but I have to go to town in the morning so please save a slice of bread for me. I'm afraid your hungry followers will eat it all up. Enjoy the day! (it's still snowing here). Hugs, Pam

  2. Glad you were able to pretty up your calender. Great job.

    My and photography...a sore subject right now. Just when I think I am making progress....Blam! Back to the dark ages I go. So much to learn.

  3. Great job! Vee, and I will certainly visit these sites! Wish I could help with photography tips, but need help myself. I Guess if I would take the time to read the manual that came with mine, I could.~smile`
    Enjoy baking today,

  4. I wish that I could offer you some tips but as you know, I only take pictures of Me! Me! Me!
    Gosh I'm in love with myself! :P

    I love that calendar-minus the snake of course.

    Can't wait to see this brown bread you've been going on and on and on about. ;P


  5. I'm still learning with taking photos! I take most of mine now in my lanai because it's so bright out there. The bread sounds good! Do you have plenty of butter? I'll see you later! heehee! ♥

  6. You've seen my picture taking skills....nuf said! You do wonderfully!

  7. Vee I just received my Amazon order yesterday which included the photography book: David Busch's Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D Guide to Digital SLR Photography. It's a huge how to book for my camera which is much better than the manual. I've already learned quite a lot and I'm just in the first few pages of the book. He has written other books based on other models too. Good luck!

  8. Hi Vee! I have no answers for your photos - when I have a good one, it's usually an accident! But I know there are some great picture-takers out there so one of them surely will help you - I'll have to come back and see your comments!

    Valentine snakes?????

    I like your V. decor much better.

    I'm looking forward to your bread recipe - LOVE BREAD!

  9. Snakes for Valentine's Day? Now that was a seriously Bad Judgement Call.
    I am a very poor photographer so have no answers for you - but I'll be checking back for hints from the good ones out there.

  10. -chuckle- My photos are always dark, so I just-about-always have to lighten them. But just using the iPhoto thing, which comes with my computer.

    Some day you will be old enough
    to start reading fairy tales again."

    ~ CS Lewis~

  11. Your addition to the calendar makes it perfect. Someday I would like to take a photography class, but I want to be able to use my point and shot camera which I carry with me everywhere. I can't see me hauling around a case as big as a suitcase for my equipment.

  12. Your fix on the calender is brilliant. Is that a Susan Branch calender? I have a hard time believing anyone would think snakes are cute and romantic. But then I have a major snake phobia (can't even look at photos.)

    I'm off to explore the link you sent me.

    Maybe we can discuss photography over tea and bread. Now wouldn't that be fun?

  13. Is that a M.E. Calendar? I can't imagine. I also would have to cover it up. As far as your photo questions, I don't have any idea except my camera seems to like to focus on one thing. I'm sure there is a way to change the focus, but I have no clue. I've always planned to sit down and read my camera manual. But your blanket is in very sharp focus and looks good.

    But one thing that did come into focus is your White Orchids and the other GLH books! My grandmother had them all and I read them all and still have some of her collection! Yours appear to be in pretty good shape!

  14. Well I know enough to know it has something to do with depth of field and maybe the metering....but not enough to know...what you should do.
    Got to love a self taught amateur.

    I do think you are brilliant to alter the bad Valentine calendar photo. Who on earth would love that?

  15. Thanking Catherine for the book tip....
    I can often get foreground and back ground both in focus using the setting with little mountains, or what is sometimes called landscape. Doesn't work if the light is coming in from a window. I have had limited success using a manual focus and flash.

    Usually I am trying to get both the cats at the window and the birds on the feeder both in focus. There must be a way....

  16. I have recently discovered Alicia's blog and agree that her photography is stunning! I assumed it was due to a fancy camera with fancy lenses and the knowledge to use them :).
    I'm surprised that you haven't been brave enough to leave a comment for her as your comments are always so nice to receive.
    I have that Hans Brinker book, but haven't read it yet. I remember seeing the movie many years ago.

  17. I am going to send Lindsay your way and see if she has suggestions - she is good with the camera!

    I love how you 'fixed' your calendar! I hate it when a calendar I love has a month that is blah...usually it is October - I am surprised at the snake lovers...

    It is fun to learn new things everyday, isn't it?

    Onward and upward!

  18. Oh, I love your posts, I never knew about photoscape. I have to check that out, and I haven't been to Posy Gets Cozy in a while. Truth be told, after that doozie of a cold lasting a month, I finally have my energy back. Your photograph after Photoscape looks wonderful. If I use the automatic setting on my camera it will only focus on what I am pointing to. What kind of camera do you use Vee?

    Thank you for posting about the new blog, you are wonderful and I always appreciate your support. I don't know how you do it, cook, keep a wonderful home, write gorgeous posts almost daily and still have time to visit so many blogs.

    Well, a big thank you. Tell me what camera you are using and I'll see what I can find out for you.


  19. Vee,

    I have a question for you. Do you know how to leave a link within a comment. I see that done all the time, but when I leave a link, it just lists the code instead of the link:



  20. nevermind Vee, I found a site that shares how to do it:

    The Bexter Review


  21. Snake lovers...NOT! what was SB thinking?! Love your solution.
    On my "point and shoot" camera I play around with the scene menu and I use museum and landscape indoors because they don't use flash. I'm still learning.

  22. I have more questions than answers myself...when it comes to taking photos. But I love your calendar editing program! That looks like my style.

  23. Oh the things there are to learn about photography that I just put in my to do pile...
    And now I realize I haven't even thought about the big V day. hmmm.
    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  24. Whatever you learn, pass it on! I don't know anything at all except point and shoot. I've not even used any photo-editing yet.

  25. Vee,
    I'm a point and shoot gal, but I will certainly check out the links. You have piqued my interest!
    And I love the shot with the GLH books in the background. Some familiar titles.

  26. Well don't know how she does it - I imagine it's the lens she uses?

    Happy Ground Hog Day! Supposedly we'll get an early spring according to the southern groundhog.

  27. I think you're doing fine with your new camera. I'm still learning with mine, it would help if I'd just read the manual! The one thing I do know is that lighting makes a huge difference.

  28. Oh, I have lots of photo tips. I really need to do a blog post.
    1. Get a real camera (dSLR) and don't struggle with a point and shoot (although most of mine are taken with one...I am just THAT good Vee) :) This will let you focus on exactly what you want, vary the aperture to get depth of field you want, control your exposure (good for when you are trying to shoot into the light, which you like to do!), etc.
    2. Don't shoot into the light with a point and shoot. They get scared. If you want to shoot into the light, you need to increase your aperture which you sometimes can't do on a P&S (some have a exposure +/- button which does the same thing), otehrwise it will be too dark and you will have to go into a Photo editor to brighten it up.
    3. If you are using a point and shoot, spend some money and get one with a phenomenal lens (eg. Leica).
    4. Use all natural light, shooting with the light falling onto your object (not into the light).
    5. Composition is critical. I really think most people either have a good "eye" for composition or they don't. Although we can all improve. :)
    6. I think that is all I have. If it doesn't look good, take it into Photoshop.

  29. I use a lot of different cameras when I take photos, as it depends upon where I am and how long I'll be there. I love my DSLR Nikon D 60 but it, and all its lenses, are heavy. To get the best photos I have to use a tripod and I hardly ever carry that along. My Cannon Power shot is more portable and is all in one, but the photos don't come out as crisp and clear. My little bitty pocket Cannon camera is so old it takes lousy photos but it is the lightest to carry. So I think it has a lot to do with the camera one uses and the settings and the lighting in the room and the editing down after. No easy answer, I guess. I'd LOVE to take lessons one day.

    Snakes in love? Yikes! I like your solution :)

  30. Wow I don't go for snakes either. Great cover up you got there. Thanks dear friend for your encouraging comments in the last few days. I am just amazed at all the spunk and guts I can come up with when I read my favorite blogs. Sure helps me manage.

  31. Your calendar art is beautiful! MUCH nicer than the snake!!

    I am going now to visit the links you shared!

  32. Oh gosh, want to know how to photograph something dark inside, with a high backlight, no flash, hand held (I'm guessing), and a shallow depth of field, but... you want everything to be in focus and well lit. Does that about cover it? LOL, it can't be done that way unless you really bump up your ISO very high (and then your photo will have a lot of digital noise). Your camera can only do so much! Your photoscape adjustment did do wonders, though, for the lighting!

    You have several variables to consider - ISO, speed, and aperture. You subject and your conditions will determine how to make the settings work best for you. And you can't make them work for you if you have the camera set on automatic.

  33. Vee, not sure what you have for a camera but before I bought my DSLR, I used a Canon powershot 110IS and 30. Both worked very well, didn't get quite as crisp as I get with my DSLR but many of my older photos were taken with those. If you learn the manual settings on your point-n-shoot - if that's what you're using, you can work the focus to where you want it {although it can feel tedious}. DSLR's are so much more friendly, in my opinion. The biggest thing is that when you using any camera's auto settings, you'll get what it gives you and not always what you want. BUT you can learn to use most all of them manually.

  34. Just reading the comments about depth of field, apetures, etc. has given me a headache :) I just can't remember all those things at once. The Pioneer Woman's blog has some pretty good photography tips, too. If only I could remember them ... I love your photos just as they are!

  35. About the only photography tip is take a gazillion pictures and you may be happy with one now and then. Yeah...I know that's not much of a tip, but that's what I do. I wonder if I could take better pictures with a "real" camera than with my point and shoot. That remains to be seen.

    About the calendar...I love Susan Branch's art, and I can't imagine why she chose a pair of ~~shudder~~ snakes to illustrate the lovely month of February! I have been known to tamper with a calendar picture (like Deanna, usually October's), but with less imagination. I just taped an older picture that I did like onto the offending one. Kudos to you for your creativity!

  36. Vee
    Now you know you're not going to get any photo shooting advice from me!
    But Grace Livingston Hill-I love.
    Many years ago I read everyone of her books that were in my local library. I only own one.
    You did a great cover-up job-so much sweeter!

  37. I remember seeing those snakes when I was checking the back of the calendar out for a glance at what was inside at Christmas time in Costco, and thought the same as you and John. Great fix!

    I hope you will post about what you learn ie photography. My daughter is a photographer but she won't help me with just my point and shoot. Do you have a "real camera" DSL? I really just want to point and shoot and get it done. Alicia's pictures are really wonderful thou...hmmm.

  38. Photography is a mystery to me! I love taking photos but I'm really amateur. I need to take time to learn more about my camera and make an effort to get involved in it. I use Photoshop a lot!

    Have a great weekend Vee!!

    Hugs, Sherry

  39. I just point ans shoot (of course my fingers are always crossed so that maybe why they aren't works of art:)

    Love that Hans Brinker book!


  40. I forgot to post yesterday. I went to check your links, then spent some time experimenting with my camera. I was glad to see some suggestions on here.

    Another great new header!

  41. I sent you a followup e-mail message, but I'll put it here too, in case it helps out a reader. The focal length setting has a lot to do with your depth of field too. With a wide-angle setting, more will be in focus than with a telephoto setting. So zoom out with your camera and see the difference! Get that f-stop at a higher number, such as f/8 and f/16, and you'll be better assured of everything in focus. Then you have to balance out all the other settings and make use of a tripod for long exposures.

  42. Alicia's blog is one of the first I found and I have followed it since.
    She has a very nice camera, and several lenses, not to mention a natural talent for photography.
    You do a great job Vee, and I love you little corner of the world :)


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